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This is the second letter we have sent to you in the past 24 hours to protest the incessant illegal, intransigent and provocative actions undertaken by the Government of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. As the international community continues with its tireless efforts to relaunch peace talks and provide hope to the region, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to take wilful and systematic steps to undermine these efforts, threatening to derail the peace talks and to completely strip the two-State solution of its meaning.
Just yesterday, media reports exposed that, on 18 March 2010, Israeli occupation authorities approved the construction of 20 new settlement units in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighbourhood in Occupied East Jerusalem. The approved illegal construction plans are clearly an affront to international law as well as to the collective will of the international community, which has repeatedly declared its rejection of such illegal measures. This project, which is strategically located in the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood, went through a speedy approval process a day before the Quartet met in Moscow which, among other things, affirmed its clear position regarding illegal Israeli settlements.
It is glaringly clear that the current right-wing Israeli Government has no interest in defusing the rapid and dangerously rising tension in the region. On the contrary, the intransigent actions and arrogant remarks made by Israeli leaders provide unequivocal proof that this Government is in fact set on derailing peace efforts and defying the will of the international community.
In response to the defiant behaviour by Israel, the occupying Power, the international community has a clear obligation to translate its position on illegal settlement building into effective measures. Regrettably, for decades, the occupying Power has persisted in acting with complete impunity, without concern for reproach or punishment for its illegal practices and policies carried out throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Therefore, statements of concern are no longer sufficient. Rather, the international community, including the Security Council, must take concrete measures to halt, once and for all, Israel’s ongoing colonization of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The time has come for the international community, represented by the United Nations, to finally ensure the preservation of its credibility and that of the international system that governs relations between nations. This has to begin with immediately ending Israel’s vicious aggression against the defenceless Palestinian civilian population and its destructive path of impunity before the window of opportunity to achieve peace in the region is missed.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 363 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 23 March 2010 (A/ES-10/483-S/2010/155), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.